and in June they reached the village of Rochester
, distant from Springfield
six miles. It was evening when they arrived, and on account of the muddy roads they decided to go no farther, but to rest there for the night.
Word was sent into Springfield
, and of course the leading Democrats of the capital hurried out to meet the distinguished visitor.
Knowing the accommodations at Rochester
were not intended for or suited to the entertainment of an ex-President, they took with them refreshments in quantity and variety, to make up for all deficiencies.
Among others, they prevailed on Lincoln
, although an ardent and pronounced Whig, to accompany them.
They introduced him to the venerable statesman of Kinderhook
as a representative lawyer, and a man whose wit was as ready as his store of anecdotes was exhaustless.
How he succeeded in entertaining the visitor and the company, those who were present have often since testified.
himself entertained the crowd with reminiscences of politics in New York, going back to the days of Hamilton
, and many of the crowd in turn interested him with graphic descriptions of early life on the western frontier.
But they all yielded at last to the piquancy and force of Lincoln
's queer stories.
“Of these,” relates one of the company,1
“there was a constant supply, one following another in rapid succession, each more irresistible than its predecessor.
The fun continued until after midnight, and until the distinguished traveller insisted that ”